Black bean and chorizo soup

I don’t know about you, but when I woke up this morning I was COLD. We are going to be needing more soup.

Not to get all HBS in here, but this is kind of a bittersweet soup for me because it’s one that my ex-boyfriend and I must have made and eaten together at least a hundred times, and for that reason I haven’t made it since we split. But while the soup’s emotional flavor may be bittersweet, its actual flavor is porky, spicy, and delicious. And it’s cheap — I mean, all soup is cheap, but this soup is really cheap, especially if you don’t get the fancy kind of chicken broth. So I made it for dinner last night. There should maybe be an R&B ballad about the mixed emotions I felt while eating it. “Salty like the tears I cried/so much pain, and soup, inside/but now some time has passed/I can eat this soup again at last …” Yeah, call me, Destiny’s-Child-in-2002.


olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cubanelle pepper, thinly sliced

2 links of chorizo (I like fresh, but the hard salami-type kind works too), diced

1 1lb can black beans

A box of that organic free-range chicken broth I put in everything I cook. Low-sodium is probably a good idea because the chorizo is so salty.

For garnish:

Chopped cilantro

lime wedges

Total greek yogurt (optional)

Heat up some olive oil in the used Le Creuset dutch oven you bought at a deep discount at The Brooklyn Kitchen right after your Brooklyn Divorce* to compensate for the cookware you lost (*I have a friend who calls living together for a long time being “Brooklyn-married.”) Insert onion and garlic, then, a moment later, the cut-up chorizo bits. Sautee until the chorizo exudes its brick-red oils and stains the now-soft onions. Add the pepper and stir. Then when the pepper is a little bit cooked add the (drained and rinsed) black beans. Stir to incorporate, and, once they’re hot, add enough chicken broth to cover the beans by a quarter inch. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and then cook, partly covered, until the soup looks like what we’ve come to expect black bean soup to look like — eg the beans soften and become one with the broth, which will turn an appetizing light brown.

This takes maybe half an hour — enough time to try to accomplish something! This time, you’ll want to try to install Rosetta Stone software on your ancient and ailing computer, which will take forever. Once you’ve installed it you can get about ten minutes into lesson one, The Alphabet. Okay, you know what? It would be so much easier to learn a language where the new letters are totally foreign glyphs that have nothing to do with the English letters you’ve spent the last 22 years familiarizing yourself with. But Russian is hard because, hey, remember that B you’ve come to know and love and expect to make a “buh” type sound? Nope! It is a V. H and P and C and Y are all similarly misleading, and their treachery is even more offensive when contrasted with the loyalty of T and O and E and M and K, which are just good old T and O and E and M and K, respectively, except O and E are a little funny. At this point you begin to suspect that in Russia you might find yourself accidentally peeing in a closet.

Okay, the soup is done. Garnish with cilantro and lime juice and optional yogurt and serve to yourself while watching America’s Next Top Model.

9 comments to Black bean and chorizo soup

  • TC

    I’ve found that even the most traditional Mexican eateries (i.e. taco trucks) in LA will offer soyrizo in place of chorizo purely because it’s less likely to take years off your life–although really, its like going from Lucky Strikes to Camel Lights. I’ve never had chorizo so I have little basis of comparison, but I have had unbelievably good breakfast burritos made with the animal-friendly equivalent. Well worth the switch if you’re feeling health conscious.

    And speaking of language barriers, I really need to learn how to say “Are those beans made with lard?” in Spanish.

  • Dweeb

    You should seriously do a book of these.

  • arthur

    Here is a French farm (where I am departing from, summer being over) receipe for soup:

    8 ripe tomatoes
    4 onions
    2 potatoes
    1 clove garlic
    big bunch (more than seems normal) of fresh parsely
    some water
    some olive oil
    salt and pepper

    peel tomatoes (1 minute in boiling water to remove the thin skin)
    cook it all for 45 minutes to 1 hour in covered pot
    blend with electric hand wand till smooth
    simmer uncovered if too thin to reduce or add water if too thick

    serve with hard crusted French bread with a strong Basque type cheese.

    Watch the new season of “Californication”.

  • Rebecca A.

    I am going to make this.

    I am really busy, with about a hundred things to do that all include making thoughtful, lucid, helpful, well written comments in the margins of upper-level-English-student essays. So I thought it was a good time to follow your link to Heartbreak Soup. I was pleased to see a ton more recipes there. I did read/make your recipe once before for what seemed to be the actual “Heartbreak Soup” and it was yum.

    Question: This is a very different recipe than “Hippie Soup.” Is it worth making both and seeing which one I like best? Incidentally, I love the way you wrote this one, and not so much that one. I’m wondering if that translates over to the soup itself. How’s that for a well written comment?

    Comment: It appears that the week or two of wondering are over. You do have girlfriends other than Ann Coulter.

  • emily

    @rebecca: I think it has more to do with whether you are a vegetarian? Hippie Soup is, of course, vegetarian.

  • Rebecca A.

    @eg: except, I suppose, the funeral meat. Oh or maybe that was ironic and I just missed it….

  • Rebecca A.

    HA, I went back and looked at it again…I copied over the words “funeral meat” from the sentence before as I was copying the recipe!!. So there’s that.

  • rebekah

    I have missed the recipes. YAY! This one gets a double thumbs up for the use of a sofrito which is strikingly similar (in proportion if not in actual quantity) to that of my girlfriend’s mom’s black beans.
    I eat several vegetarian meals a week, I exercise daily and I quit smoking. As far as I am concerned, enjoying delicious meaty sausages is one vice worth keeping.

  • [...] night stands. I date people for about two years, and enter into a relationship state known as being Brooklyn-married. The longest time since I’ve been seriously dating that I’ve gone without some sort of [...]

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